Saint Helen: A recommended book, Evelyn Waugh’s Helena

Today is the feast day of Saint Helen, the mother of Constantine the Great. She is the matriarch of Christian Europe and the finder of the one true Cross of Christ in Jerusalem. Here’s a post I wrote before on how Saint Helen found the original cross: it’s a great story.


I’m particularly obsessed with Saint Helena and Constantine because I’m polishing my historical young-adult novel on Saint George, which includes the likes of Saint George, Saint Christopher, Saint Nicholas, Saint Helen, Constantine, et al. It’s the story of Saint George’s coming of age, virtue, and martyrdom (and yes it has a great dragon in it).

It’s a fun novel for young adults and adults. Look for it on amazon after Thanksgiving!

One book that inspired me in particular was Evelyn Waugh’s historical fiction novel Helena. Waugh took the historical early 4th century and fictionalized it. He’s known for his acclaimed bestseller Brideshead Revisited, but I dare say that his Helena is as good as, if not better than Brideshead. Helana novel is a history lesson and entertainment all rolled into one. If you’re looking for a great novel with Christian themes, please read Waugh’s Helena.

Blurb from book:

Evelyn Waugh, author of the internationally acclaimed bestseller Brideshead Revisited and one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, considered Helena to be perhaps his finest novel. Based on the life of St. Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine and finder of the true cross, this spiritual adventure brings to life the political intrigues of ancient Rome and the early years of Christianity.

Helena is the intelligent, horse-mad daughter of a British chieftain who is suddenly betrothed to the warrior who becomes the Roman emperor Constantius. She spends her life seeking truth in the religions, mythologies, and philosophies of the declining ancient world. This she eventually finds in Christianity—and literally in the Cross of Christ.

Here’s the link to the book in Waugh’s novel Helena. Enjoy it!

Question: Have you read this novel? What did you think? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Comments Policy: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. If your comment contains a hyperlink to another site, your comment automatically goes into "Comments Purgatory" where it waits for release by way of moderation.